Archive for the ‘Little Ms. Muffin’ Category

Legal Super Power Pancakes

January 19, 2011

Most of last semester’s grades are in, and I am feeling pretty good.   For the next few weekends, I am free to dance around in pjs until noon, singing “Ooh La La,” and “Dog Days are Over.”  It doesn’t matter how ridiculous this looks because I officially conquered Constitutional Law and my transcript says so.  Since this law school thing seems to be working out, I will comment on my desired Legal Super Power.  My mentor, Alison, shared that if she had a legal super power, she would want the power of specific performance.  That is, whenever she had a client deserving of a certain court-ordered act, she would have the power to make it happen. ( e.g. *Boom* here’s your boat back.  Have a nice life.)  As for me, I would want the power of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure number 11– sanctions for harassing or frivolous litigation.  How great would it be to be able to lay down an instant smackdown on all the frivolous lawsuits? How many problems in the justice system could be solved by eliminating ridiculous civil suits in the federal system?  It’s a happy thought deserving of a really incredible brunch.  And what does every legal superheroine need?  Pancakes—lots and lots of pancakes.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 ½ cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 ¼ cup milk
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup chocolate chips

1)      Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2)      Add the butter, milk, egg, and vanilla.  Mix until just combined without large lumps.

3)      Heat a flat non-stick griddle to 350 degrees, or heat a large frying pan to medium.  (If using a frying pan, use a little extra butter to prevent sticking.) Scoop a scant ¼ cup batter for each pancake.  Sprinkle over with chocolate chips.

4)      Flip pancakes to cook each side evenly, until golden brown.

5)      Serve hot.  I like maple syrup.

 

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For the Women Who Came Before Me Cake

December 30, 2010

Exams are officially over.  It was a long haul.  Let’s take stock: two breakdowns, 60ish hours of studying, four outlines, a backache, and several hard-to-sleep nights.  I woke up before the crack of dawn to make it to three 8:30 AM exams.  This was even less fun than standing in line for 45 minutes at the Post Office to mail holiday packages.  But, you know what?  I am grateful for this.  Why?  Because there were many impressive women who fought bloody hard for my right to be here.  The first women to take the bar were denied admission on the basis of their gender.  The Supreme Court even upheld the denial of their applications.  Now women account for nearly half of law school applicants, and we have a record three women Supreme Court justices.  Things are not completely rosy in law-land; women still suffer from a terrible wage gap, and an even more horrendous gap in leadership parity (known as the 50-15 problem—fifty percent of law students are women, but only fifteen percent of law firm equity partners and chief legal staff are women).   Nevertheless, my “right” to sit among my peers is a privilege that was hard earned.  The women who came before me had to prove that we are good enough, smart enough, and tough enough to make it.  As for me, I get to bake because I choose to, and I get to attend law school because I choose to.  It’s a beautiful gift.  For all the women who came before me—thank you for teaching me how to make my cake and eat it in style.

For some specific history on women in the legal profession, see: http://www.abcny.org/Library/FeaturedExhibitions2.htm

Lemon Cranberry Cake

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

1)      Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease two muffin tins, or one muffin tin and a loaf pan.

2)      In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition.  Beat in the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon rind.

3)      In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk the ingredients together thoroughly.

4)      Add half the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly, then add half the milk and mix again.  Repeat this step until the batter is thick and even.

5)      Gently stir in the chopped cranberries.  Distribute batter into loaf or muffin pans.

6)      Bake a loaf for 50 minutes; bake muffins for 25 minutes.

Mentor Cake

December 20, 2010

Law students are encouraged to sign up for the mentoring program at the beginning of the year.  Our school connects students with local alumni.  This is how I met Alison, the nicest mentor one could hope for.  She has shared fantastic study tips, her stellar outlines, and a very positive perspective.  What could a first year student offer in exchange?  A baking lesson. Alison informed me that she has made some disaster cakes in the past.  She said that her past cakes came out “tough.”  I am not quite sure what this means, but cakes that share adjectives with tires simply won’t do.  And so Alison and I destroyed the kitchen together and made this cake, plus some snickerdoodle muffins (see “Special Visitor Muffins” for the recipe).   All in all, we used over seven cups of sugar, more than half a bag of flour, and an entire package of butter.    She attempted to sabotage this cake by only bringing one-fourth of the chocolate necessary for the recipe.  However, I happened to have plenty of chocolate on hand, and our baking efforts were saved.   I had a generous slice of cake for lunch; it’s worthwhile brain food, and my exams are halfway complete.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake

2 cups plus a scant ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ sticks butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 ¼ cups milk
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
3 large eggs

1)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour parchment paper to fit the inside of two round 9-inch cake pans.

2)  Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a whisk in a large bowl.

3)  In a separate bowl, cream the cream cheese, one stick of butter, and vanilla with a hand mixer, until light and fluffy.  Add the confections’ sugar and 1/3 cup milk, alternating, until it is gone (beginning and ending with the sugar).  Then beat in the melted chocolate.  Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix once more.

4)  Separate 2 ½ cups of the above mixture and put it in a sealable container.  Store it in the refrigerator—voila your frosting!

5)  Beat in half a stick of butter to the mixture.  Add the eggs, beating between each addition. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, alternating with 1 ¼ cups milk, beginning and ending with the flour.

6)  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake 35 minutes.  Allow the cakes to thoroughly cool before removing from the pans and frosting.

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family

Law School Exam Muffins, or Humbly Grateful Muffins

December 15, 2010

Law exams are officially underway and I have learned two important life lessons.  I kicked off my crunch time exam period in Roseburg with Josie.  She vowed to take the best care of me while my housemate took care of the pets in Portland.  For those of you who have kept up with the blog, you know that Josie’s care includes really good homemade food and as much TLC as one could want.  Josie stayed up late with me beginning Friday night.  We started with a review of torts.  By the end of the night, she knew enough torts to correctly identify issues in a practice test.  She could recite all the elements of negligence and could distinguish the intentional torts from one another.  She then sat patiently all day Saturday with me so that I could teach contracts.  Throughout the day I got the most plush services— fresh bagels from the local shop, homemade hot chocolate with peppermint fudge, a pedicure, and lunch delivered up to me on toasted Kaiser rolls.  By the end of the night, Josie was able to correctly answer multiple choice questions from a past contracts exam (and she had finished making a Christmas present for her dad).  She effectively learned a semester’s worth of material for two subjects (enough to pass a real exam) in 36 hours.  She’s quite the exceptional student, I assure you.  On Sunday, I was able to leave with the confidence I needed to face these exams.  If I could teach the concepts to a non-law student, certainly I could tackle a silly exam.  It also helped that I had a batch of homemade cookies on the passenger seat.  Thus, I felt like the luckiest and most well-prepared student to ever live as I began the three-hour drive back to Portland.  Life Lesson #1: Remain humble.  Upon reaching my house in Portland, I realized I had missed a call from Josie about an hour and half into the journey home.  As it turns out, I left my binder with all of my carefully written outlines and flow charts in Roseburg. Note: my open-note contracts exam was only 14 hours away.  F*&#.  Who does that?  So, after allowing myself ample time for a small breakdown, I had some dinner (not nearly as good as the food Josie makes).  My partner interrupted his own study time so he could drive me to dinner and to campus while I cried and bemoaned the circumstances. Then Josie successfully scanned each and every page of my contracts materials for me and emailed them to me.  This would have been a perfect solution had the school computer lab not closed at 7:00 and had my printer at home not been out of ink.  Never fear, one of my best study buddies, promised to print my outline for me and bring it to the exam.  Life Lesson #2: Be grateful for modern technology and even more so for the relationships you’ve cultivated.  By 9:00 PM, I was able to redraw my diagrams and charts from the scanned copies provided to me, and the world was right again.  For the multitude of well-wishes in the form of emails, text messages, phone calls, Facebook notes, and silent thoughts, I am humbly grateful.  These muffins are for the world’s best cheerleaders.

–Little Ms. Muffin

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

 

For the crust

1 small bag of ginger snaps (about 1 ½ cups)
¼ cup sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted

For the muffins

15 oz of pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

For the filling

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
5 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp vanilla

1)      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2)      Prepare the crust by crushing the ginger snaps and mixing in the sugar and butter

3)      Mash the crust in the bottom of cupcake liners, or line a muffin tin with greased parchment paper disks (cut to muffin cup size).

4)      Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.

5)      Prepare the pumpkin mixture by mixing all the ingredients in a large bowl (pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, spices, baking soda, baking powder, salt, eggs, and butter).

6)      In a separate bowl, use a hand-mixer on medium to mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Then, beat in the egg yolk.

7)      Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the ginger-snap crust, approximately ¾ of the way to the top of the cooled muffin cups (if they are still hot, wait until the muffin tin is to room temperature).  If you did not use liners, be sure to thoroughly grease the sides of the muffin tin, or line them with greased parchment paper.

8)      Using a tablespoon, add a dollop of the cream cheese mixture to each muffin cup.  Use a toothpick or skewer to swirl the cream cheese mixture.

9)      Bake for 25 minutes.

 

Law School Final Exam Preparation Muffins

December 7, 2010

Let me describe what law school looks like by the first week in December: Some folks are beginning to feel sickly, and their pockets are stuffed with crumpled tissues.  More than a few students are walking a little like defeated zombies, complete with tired raccoon-ringed eyes. Male students who started out with five-o’clock shadows have ended up looking like Paul Bunyan.  (Surely, many women students have forgone shaving, as well, but it is harder to tell in the winter.)  We’re grateful to have sufficient pairs of panties to go without worrying about laundry for a little longer.  The library looks like a disaster relief center.  Coffee has become liquid gold.  Facebook has a flurry of status updates reflecting the sheer misery of practice tests and outlining.  So how did we arrive at such a place?  We’re told that we’re the crème de la crème; we’re future leaders of a “very noble profession;” we follow in the footsteps of many greats.  Let’s re-cap: first year students have four testable subjects, plus a legal writing and research course.  Constitutional law has kicked my tuchus all semester.  I am determined to prove that I can master the holdings of these cases if I have to read every supplementary guide in the library.  Torts cases involve a lot of very entertaining situations with overflowing latrines and fireworks in unmarked packages.  At some point we definitely discussed a case in which a consumer discovered that a rat had negligently been baked into a loaf of bread.  The final outlining process for the exam in this class, however, sucks mothballs.  My outline is about twenty pages of exceptions; by the time I take the exam, I will have them all memorized. Contracts was surprisingly fascinating, and I was grateful for a professor who would say things such as, “Maybe you wanted to buy one of those hippy cars with a rainbow painted on it.” Nevertheless, the multiple choice questions are tricky pixies, and I am a little bit afraid.  Civil Procedure rules us.  (Insert ba-dum-ching, here.)  For those non-law students joining me, the reading period before exams is about as pleasant as scraping dried oatmeal off yesterday’s breakfast dishes.  We’re told by the wiser upper-classmen to avoid campus as much as possible.  My summary judgment: the end is near, and I’m fighting the temptation to shout, “Bring out your [law school] dead.”  It gives me hope, however, to know that my law school claims a very high retention rate, and I know a good handful of upper-level students who have survived.  Amanda, Lora, and Alex—these are for you.

Butter Rum Muffins (Vegan)

½ cup sugar
1 ¾ cups flour
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup soy milk
¼ cup softened vegan “butter”
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
dash of allspice
2 tbsp spiced rum

1)      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, grease the muffin tin.

2)      Beat together the softened butter and the brown sugar and regular sugar.

3)      Add the milk, egg, rum, baking powder, salt, and the spices, stirring until thoroughly combined.

4)      Fill the muffin cups ¾ of the way to the rim and bake for 20 minutes.

**For a non-vegan option, try adding an egg and ¼ of a cup sugar, real butter rather than vegan butter, and regular milk instead of soy.

 

Civil Procedure Muffins

November 28, 2010

I hope you all enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving.  I made my first turkey feast this year, complete with sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, Swiss string beans with homemade dressing, homemade sour-cream rolls, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cheesecake.  Then, there were these muffins.  They were inspired by my Civil Procedure professor.  The man is known on campus for his very chic haircut and dapper disposition in class.  He also wears amazing ties.  Yes, Professor, your students have noticed the little seasonal images and colorful stripes you sport every Tuesday and Thursday.  Should you read this blog some day, please feel encouraged—definitely do not stop wearing your lovely ties.  Attending class is stirred just as much by my need to know what the tie report is as my zest for legal learning.  In any case, somewhere between an explanation of summary judgment and directed verdicts, our professor mentioned that he ate sweet potato date muffins for breakfast.  The class went hay-wire.  Thus, as we exited the room, I had two thoughts: 1) People are not guaranteed an error-free trial, according to Federal Civil Rule 61 and, more importantly, 2) I wanted to make sweet potato date muffins. It was not until I began roasting the sweet potatoes that I remembered that I’ve  disliked the flavor in the past, immensely.  Nevertheless, these muffins have made me a fan.  In honor of Federal Civil Rules 1-61 (and in hope that we’ll cover 62-83 eventually), and for my law school compatriots who suffer under the strain of upcoming exams—these muffins are for you. –Little Ms. Muffin


Sweet Potato Date Muffins


1/2 pound sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup dried pitted dates, sliced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces (reserve some dates sliced in half for a topping, if desired)

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Stick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and wrap them in foil. Roast them in a pan for an hour. Remove the pan from the oven, allow the potatoes to cool, remove the foil and the skins, and mush them in a small bowl.

2. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the muffin tin.

3. Cream the butter, brown sugar, and regular sugar in a large bowl.  Add the egg and mix thoroughly, followed by the buttermilk, yogurt, and vanilla.

4. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice.

5. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients, until just smooth. Gently fold in the sweet potatoes and the dates.  Add a date sliced in half to the top of each muffin, if desired.

6.  Fill the muffin cups about ¾ of the way full and bake for 35 minutes.

Oh No You Don’t! Cake

November 21, 2010

Have you ever noticed that when a child is about to do something naughty, an adult often exclaims, “Oh no you don’t!”?  I caught myself yelling this phrase when James jumped on the counter as I was baking a birthday cake.  My sweatshirt sleeves were rolled up, my fingers were coated in flour, and I was holding a wooden spoon and glass bowl dripping with batter.  I was also exhausted from torts class and a batch of muffins that stuck to the muffin tin.  In spite of my wild gesticulations and most serious voice, James gave me a look that said, “Oh, yes. We do.”  My parenting skills had just been trumped—by a cat.  In the moment, it occurred to me that the phrase, “Oh no you don’t” doesn’t have any meaning on its own.  It’s grammatically deficient, and it’s insipid.  It’s so insipid that if I could come up with a catchy-enough tune and Katy Perry agreed to sing it, there would be teens across the U.S. belting it out in their V-Bugs.  As I whipped up the cake frosting, I imagined some clever predicates that could be inserted between “don’t” and the exclamation mark.  Feel free to post your favorite (complete) “Oh no you don’t…” phrase in the comments.  It’s good food for thought, no?  Most importantly, happy birthday, Anna.  I hope this year is every bit as sweet as frosting.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Orange-Coconut Layer Cake

¾ cup softened butter
¾ tsp salt
grated zest of one orange
juice of one orange
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup shaved coconut

1)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans

2)  In large bowl, combine the butter, salt, and the orange rind.  Add the sugar and cream the mixture.

3)  Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.

4)  In another large bowl, whisk together the cake flour and baking powder.

5)  Combine the juice of one orange and the lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Add enough water to make a cup.

6)  Alternate adding the flour mixture and the juice to the creamed sugar mixture.  Repeat this step three times.  Mix until the batter is smooth.  Pour the batter into the cake pans.

7)  Bake for 25 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

8)  When the cake has cooled, frost with icing, sprinkle with coconut, layer, and repeat.

Golden Orange Frosting

4 cups confectioner’s sugar, separated
6 tbsp butter
4 tbsp fresh squeezed orange
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp grated rind of an orange
1 tbsp flour

1)  Heat the butter on low heat, add the orange rind, and 1 cup of the confectioner’s sugar, a little at a time.  Stir continuously.

2)  Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature; beat in the flour.

3)  In a bowl, add the remaining three cups of confectioner’s sugar, alternating with the juice from the orange and lemon to the previous mixture.

4)  Beat the frosting until it is light and creamy.  Add some water to loosen if the frosting is too thick.  Refrigerate the frosting until it’s ready to be spread on the cake.

Shanghaied Muffins

November 16, 2010

This weekend I had the opportunity to tour a small bit of the Portland underground—a labyrinth of tunnels running under the city.  These tunnels were used as secret hideouts for opium dens, torture chambers for sex slaves, and avenues of human trafficking.  Drunkards were frequently stolen from saloons and shuttled underground, often drugged, and brought to sea where they’d be forced to work for years as ship crew.  Sometimes men were dropped right through the floor of saloons above, by the pull of a bar-attendant’s lever.  These sorry shanghaied individuals were unlikely to escape; there were a number of ways for traffickers to hold them captive, including stealing their shoes and sprinkling a thick layer of broken glass along the exit route. There are numerous ghost tales that go along with these tunnels, but I did not encounter any creepies.  Most importantly, this activity made my contracts practice test far more palatable. Offer, acceptance, and the statute of frauds are a lot easier to handle after such an outing.  I “raise” these muffins in honor of Portland’s shanghaied.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Chocolate Chocolate Chip

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1)    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and thoroughly grease a muffin tin (and I mean, really grease it, or the muffins will get stuck).

2)    In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and whisk together.

3)    In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, butter, yogurt, and vanilla.  Pour these ingredients into the large bowl and mix until just combined.

4)    Fold in the chocolate chips being careful not to over-mix the batter.

5)    Distribute the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.  Let them cool before removing.

Duck Face Cake

November 7, 2010

I wasn’t sure what I should write about this week.  When I asked Josie if she had any ideas, she replied, “Your face.”  I am not sure I have anything profound to say about my face.  I have, however, spent a good part of the week perfecting my “duck face.”  If you aren’t familiar with the pop-culture “duck face,” I recommend starting with antiduckface.com.  It seems that most folks, primarily women, are making a duckface because they think it’s hot.  Here’s why I am making a duck face: my living room looks like something exploded, my desk is covered with unopened mail, my binders are beginning to get out of control, and my cats got spayed and neutered on Friday.   As a result, the kittens are doped up and acting like serious crack-addicts jonesing for their next good fix; I started adding a splash of Kaluha to my coffee and putting some correspondence on hold.   I also added highlights from a box to my hair, in favor of a fresh change.  I do all of this while making one big fat duck face in the general direction of my law school.  It’s all I can do to keep from quacking.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Carrot Cake

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
3 cups carrots (approximately 1 pound, plus a few)
¼ cup shredded coconut

Frosting

12 oz cream cheese
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 ½ tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate

1.  Grate the carrots and set them aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two round 9-inch pans.  Line the pans with parchment paper and grease and flour the paper.

3.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.

4.  In a separate bowl, use a handmixer to combine the eggs and the sugar for a minute or two on medium, or by hand until fluffy.  Then mix in the vanilla and the vegetable oil.

5.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture.  Fold in the carrots and the coconut.

6.  Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7.  While the cakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese, sugar, butter, and two tablespoons of the orange juice concentrate just until fluffy and smooth.   Add the remaining orange juice concentrate, and continue beating until the frosting is spreadable.

8.  Frost the cake when it is cooled.

**Recipe adapted from Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family

Can I get a “What what?” Muffins

October 31, 2010

I have hit that critical point in law school when students begin asking themselves, “Why the hell did I sign up for this?”  Let’s be clear: it is a self-chosen path.  However, there are high stakes (read: a single end-of-semester exam in each class, graded on a 3.0 curve).  At the half-way mark, people begin to get a little stressed out.  By this, I mean that breakdowns become more regular, and some of us cry in the shower.  Others dance themselves into oblivion at Student Bar Association Halloween Parties, which is great entertainment for the criers.  In either case, there is no more denial.  We can only hope that we are learning what we are supposed to have learned.   In the meanwhile, I try to get my jollies wherever I can.  This week, I attended a public interest karaoke fundraiser.  I had the delight of watching my Torts professor (attempt to) rap Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A…”  This would have sufficed as glorious entertainment all on its own. However, being me, and being a little punchy from a long week, I felt compelled to open Thursday’s class with, “Can I get a what what?”  The professor didn’t hear my remark, and he earnestly replied, “Can I what?”  To this, I was forced to respond, matter-of-factly, “Get a what what.”  Yes, it has really come to this.  It was one of those moments in which words have run amok without my mouth’s permission.  So, for now, I’m going to stick a muffin in it.  Enjoy.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Two-Tone Muffins

1 cup milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of one orange
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two muffin tins.
2) In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and butter.
3) In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Mix it well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a hand-mixer on low until there are no lumps.
4) Fold in the orange zest.
5) Separate half of the batter and add the cocoa powder.  Plop one tablespoon of the white batter into one side of each muffin cups.  Then, plop one tablespoon of the cocoa-ed batter into the other half of each muffin cup.
6) Sprinkle the slivered almonds over each muffin and bake for 18-20 minutes.  Allow muffins to cool before removing.